Self-proclaimed travel writer Malerie Yolen-Cohen has named Bishop one of the Top 10 cities to visit along U.S. 6, the nation’s longest federal contiguous highway, on her blogspot “Stay on Route 6.”
But it is not the area’s well-known fishing, hiking, climbing or adventure trail systems that caught the eye of Yolen-Cohen; it was Bishop’s advertised history, its story-telling with pictures on local business’ walls, that earned the city a ninth-place ranking.
“It’s all about the murals in this small, adorable Eastern Sierra Mountain town,” Yolen-Cohen writes on http://stayonroute6.blogspot.com .
Yolen-Cohen, who recently finished a six-week, 14-state journey on the mostly two-lane route, was in Bishop in June 2011 at the conclusion of her coast-to-coast sojourn. At the time, she said she planned on penning a book of her adventures, “Six Weeks on Six,” due out February 2012. She kept an ongoing record of her experiences on her “Stay on Route 6” blog. A blog is basically a collection of journal entries published on the Internet.
Susanne Olson of the Bishop Mural Society said the Route 6 Association notified the society that it had recommended Yolen-Cohen visit Bishop and check out the murals. Olson and fellow society member Patty Holton said the highlight of the town’s murals was happenstance. Olson explained Yolen-Cohen was only in town an hour or so and the society was one of the only groups available at the time to answer requests for a tour of any kind of the city. Yolen-Cohen came into town the same time the society was finishing up its nature mural on the outside of the Bishop library. The writer did not come here for murals alone, but was evidently quite impressed with the local work.
Holton said Yolen-Cohen said she wished she had more time to spend in Bishop.
Yolen-Cohen’s blogspot is now filling up with “top 10” and “best of” lists of restaurants, attractions and friendly atmospheres along the 3,652-mile byway from Provincetown, Mass. to Bishop.
Her latest list is the “Top 10; The Prettiest, Coolest, Most Charming Main Streets in the US (On US Route 6).”
The list also provides Yolen-Cohen’s own rating system in a variety of categories. Number one on the list is Provincetown, Mass., with a “Fun Factor” that is “Off the Charts.”
Newtown, Conn. earned a “Patriotic Rating” of five out of five stars. Wellsboro, Penn. had a “Charm Factor” of “Way Up There.” Vermillion, Ohio, although in the Midwest, scored high on the water scale: “Nautical Rating: Unexpectedly High.” Iowa City, Iowa got a prestigious “Sophistication Rating” of “Brilliant But Unpretentious.” Number six on the list was Ashland, Neb. with a “Tourist Magnet Rating” of “High and Growing.” Golden, Colo. and its “Howdy Y’all Factor” of 10 out of 10 “Gallon Hats” got the number seven position and Grand Junction, Colo. won for its “Main Street Aesthetic” of “Very Fine.” Bishop’s claim to fame was its “Artistic Factor” of “Impressive.”
While the official route extended to Long Beach from 1937-1964, Route 6 now officially starts at Wye Road in Bishop. However, Yolen-Cohen included Lancaster as number 10 for its “Reinvention Factor” of “Lofty.”
Holton said she is taking pre-orders for Yolen-Cohen’s book, “Six Weeks on Six,” at firstname.lastname@example.org  or by phone at (760) 938-2460.
For more on Yolen-Cohen’s adventures, go to http://stayonroute6.blogspot.com .